Monday, December 5, 2016

Dear hate group leader: If you don't like the criticism perhaps you should modify your behavior

Tim Wildmon
Hate group leader Tim Wildmon of American Family Association is bewildered by a potential sanction by the State of Connecticut. According to AFA's new blog.
In a November 30 letter to American Family Association president Tim Wildmon, comptroller Kevin Lembo notes what he calls AFA's "so-called attempts to protect family values." Those include holding to a biblical stance on marriage and several boycotts of companies like Target that champion values contrary to scripture. Lembo writes that those actions are extremely troubling to him as a "married," "gay" man.

Lembo is threatening to kick AFA out of the Connecticut State Employees' Campaign for Charitable Giving (CSEC), even though the Mississippi-based group qualifies as a charity under Connecticut's rules.
If one takes the trouble to actually read the letter (AFA knows that people will not) Mr. Lembo states, at the outset, that he believes that AFA might be in violation of the rules “that broadly prohibit discrimination.” After reviewing some examples of AFA's conduct Lembo writes: “These actions and statements are extremely troubling to me — not only as an openly gay father and spouse — but as administrator of the [charitable campaign].”

Of course AFA cannot help themselves. They misquote Mr. Lembo and put the words married and gay in quotation marks. According to them Mr. Lembo is not really married and they insist on “homosexual” rather than gay.

I suspect that Mr. Lembo is also troubled by the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated AFA as a hate group. If he was unaware of that when he wrote his letter, he is aware of that as of this afternoon.
Abraham Hamilton III is general counsel and public policy analyst for AFA.

"What's being foisted upon the American Family Association is the latest iteration of If you don't adhere to the nouveaux orthodoxy of the day – which is the sexual deviancy agenda – then you must be castigated and expelled from public life," he tells OneNewsNow.
Abraham Hamilton III doesn't even have a Martindale profile. He is a proud graduate of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law which is barely third-tier. Aside from his dubious legal credentials referring to gay people as the “sexual deviancy agenda” will keep an organization on that list of hate groups for a very long time.

Then there is the startling intellectual dishonesty. Aside from the fact that AFA tries to give the impression that its news blog is a separate organization, Hamilton is being hyperbolic and inaccurate. Not every charity is eligible to participate in this campaign. I would think that an official hate group would be eliminated. Being listed as a hate group is exclusively within AFA's direct control. They have only themselves to blame.
American Family Association applied for qualified charity status through a group called Neighbor to Nation, which confirmed to OneNewsNow that the pro-family group meets every standard that Connecticut demands of its charities.
I sent an email to Tom Youngblood, CEO of Neighbor to Nation. Let's see if he is aware that they have accredited a hate group.
Hamilton calls the threat from Lembo an abuse of power. "Because of his personal objections to the American Family Association's stance on issues like marriage and the Target boycott, then he sees fit to threaten us with his governmental position," he states.

Hamilton says the attack by the comptroller of Connecticut is the latest in what he says is a broader war on people of faith.
No one is attacking “people of faith.” Not all people of faith are anti-gay bigots. This is an attack on bigots. It requires no apology. Furthermore, Mr. Lembo has stated his concern within the guidelines of the giving program irrespective of his personal revulsion. AFA wants to promote this as homosexual run amok. In fact the title of their piece is “Gay state official challenges group's 'charitable' status” to ensure that it is known that AFA's foe is a gay man. In other words they insist on doing the very things that create this controversy in the first place.

They continue with Hamilton:
"This issue ... really brings into focus why a lot of people supported Donald Trump as opposed to Hillary Clinton," says the policy analyst. "People feared the federal government – more specifically the IRS or the Department of Justice – being used as means of cultural and societal intimidation."
Hamilton is African-American. I wonder who he voted for.

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